Niemcy / Germany
Date of establishing :
alternative, new wave, post-punk
Band members:Chris Kowski - voc, guitar
Gernot Pohle - bass
Felix Roll - drums
Biography:The Wars is a New Wave band from Berlin formed in 2008 featuring Chris Kowski on vocals/guitar, Gernot Pohle on bass and Felix Roll on drums.
The three-piece is considered a 2nd generation Post-Punk Revival project that took its cues from bands like The Chameleons, NEU!, Joy Division and Bauhaus but is also influenced by groups like U2 or My Bloody Valentine.
Following the success of their late 2009 released EP "Rift" (Wintergrain) which earned The Wars Band of the Month/Album of the Week on New York based KoolRockRadio.com, Act of the Month on Popmonitor.de and Top 10 entries on various internet radio stations the band received features on many indie rock sites (djbynar.com, darkerradio.com, schallgrenzen.de, coast-is-clear.blogspot.com etc).
Early 2010 the album's track "Sequence" appeared on Thomas Thyssen's compilation "Darkness Before Dawn 2" (UpScene/Indigo) which featured artists like John Foxx (Ultravox), The Invincilbe Spirit and The Exploding Boy.
Within the same year The Wars were invited to support shows for UK Decay, Ulterior and Erland & The Carnival.
Fall 2010 saw their latest release "Succubus" (Wintergrain) which instantly became Single of the Week on KRR and appeared on "Advanced Electronics 8" (SPV/Synthetic Symphony) featuring acts like KMFDM, Deine Lakaien und Covenant.
Chris Kowski, former lead singer of Lunar Bay who had worked with various known artists like Gunnar Spies of “MIA.”, Christian Neander (Selig) and the Steve Albini-produced Band “Spitting off Tall Buildings” grew up on the island of Sylt - an atmospheric place well known for its exposed situation in the North Sea and its ongoing loss of land during storm tides. He would spent most of his time exploring the impressionist landscapes getting increasingly fascinated by the natural beauty and violence surrounding him.
Reflections of these bizarre images are heavily present in his sweeping guitar sounds and cold nihilistic lyrics building a strong synergy between Kowski’s interpretation of New Wave and Pohle’s droning overdriven bass guitar.
Pohle and Kowski were introduced to each other in early 2008 during a recording session in Berlin of Wave Pop band Lunar Bay. During breaks the two soon discovered they had a lot in common concerning favourite bands, arts and movies. They decided to write and record some tracks at Kowski’s Wintergrain Studio.
Multi-instrumentalist Gernot Pohle, a legend of the late 90s Potsdam scene, took the part of playing bass guitar using a very unusual set up. Supporting his style of playing bass like a lead guitar he composed a set up of pure guitar amplification. This has become one of The Wars’ trademarks and has turned out to be a very popular element at their shows hypnotizing the audience.
In contrast to Pohle’s purist analog sound Kowski used no guitar amps at all. His signal was processed by the computer based Guitar Rig technology and Guitar synthesizers giving the guitar unlimited options of creating rich layered textures. This and his unconventional playing style gives their live performances a unique, stereophonic and ultra-wide sound and the impression of invisible extra guitarists and keyboarders being involved.
The resulting strong material convinced the duo to start a band and to release their favourite four tracks as the “Borderline EP” on their own label.
Due to many analogies to World War II and Cold War era in Kowski’s lyrics they decided to name the band The Wars. It also refers to the Bran Theory and its aspect of the universe eating itself.
In late 2009 The Wars recorded their second effort – the 8 track “Rift EP” and released it again on their own Wintergrain label. The Songs turned out to be more melodic and the overall sound included a big touch of psychedelia earning the record an Album Of The Week slot on Kool Rock Radio in May 2010. Its song "Sequence" also appeared on "Darkness Before Dawn 2" (UpScene/Indigo).
The spin off single Transit topped KRR's charts and The Wars subsequently became their Band Of The Month/Most Played Act.
Follow up release "England" received Beauty of the Month on Radio Shadowplay.
Early 2011 drummer Felix Roll joined the Band as a full member replacing session drummer Bruce Pankowski. The now trio instantly recorded "Succubus" a driving electronic oriented dance track which became Single of the Week on KoolRockRadio.com again and also appeared on "Advanced electronics 8" (SPV/Synthetic Symphony).